Special Issue "Vaccination and Public Health Version II: COVID-19 Vaccination"

A special issue of Vaccines (ISSN 2076-393X). This special issue belongs to the section "COVID-19 Vaccines and Vaccination".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 15 July 2021.

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Ralph J. DiClemente
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
School of Global Public Health, New York University, New York, NY 10012, USA
Interests: infectious disease; development of HIV and STD prevention programs; immunology; community interventions; diabetes; implementation science; influenza; psychology
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This issue of the Journal specifically addresses the application of social and behavioral science theory, principles, and strategies with respect to four cognate areas of research (1) enhancing assessment of COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy; (2) understanding contextual factors (personal, relational, societal, network, familial, and community influences) associated with acceptance or refusal for COVID-19 vaccination, (3) having a greater understanding of the ethical issues involved in COVID-19 vaccination, and (4) describing intervention principles and strategies that may be efficacious in promoting COVID-19 vaccine acceptance. Manuscripts that target either special interest any of these four are welcome for submission. Manuscripts will follow standard Journal peer-review practices, and those accepted for publication will appear in the special issue on Vaccination and Public Health.

Prof. Ralph J. DiClemente
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Vaccines is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • COVID-19
  • Vaccination
  • COVID-19 vaccine acceptance
  • COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy

Published Papers (11 papers)

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Research

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Article
COVID-19 Vaccine Hesitancy in a Representative Education Sector Population in Qatar
Vaccines 2021, 9(6), 665; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines9060665 - 18 Jun 2021
Viewed by 289
Abstract
Even though vaccination programs have now started in earnest across the globe and in Qatar, vaccine hesitancy remains a barrier to effectively tackling the pandemic. Many factors influence willingness to take vaccines including safety, efficacy, and side effects. Given their proximity to research [...] Read more.
Even though vaccination programs have now started in earnest across the globe and in Qatar, vaccine hesitancy remains a barrier to effectively tackling the pandemic. Many factors influence willingness to take vaccines including safety, efficacy, and side effects. Given their proximity to research and education, university students and employees represent an interesting cohort in which to investigate vaccine hesitancy. The aim of this study was to assess the attitudes of Qatar University employees and students towards the COVID-19 vaccine. In total, 231 employees and 231 students participated in an online cross-sectional study in February 2021. Of the sample, 62.6% were willing to take a vaccine against COVID-19. Participants with or taking postgraduate degrees were more willing to take the vaccine compared to participants with or taking a diploma or bachelor’s degree (p < 0.001). Males had a higher rate of vaccine acceptance (p < 0.001). In the group that regarded flu vaccination as important, 13% were unwilling to take COVID-19 vaccine. There were no associations between willingness to vaccinate and vaccine/virus knowledge and social media use. Participants showed a high level of concern regarding vaccine side effects in themselves or their children. Two-thirds agreed or strongly agreed that they would take the vaccine if it was mandatory for international travel. Our participants were neutral to the origin of vaccine development. These findings, which represent data collected after the start of the national vaccination program, show that vaccine hesitancy persists in the Qatari population and that some groups, such as undergraduate students, could benefit from specific, targeted public health campaigns. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Vaccination and Public Health Version II: COVID-19 Vaccination)
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Article
Asian-Origin Approved COVID-19 Vaccines and Current Status of COVID-19 Vaccination Program in Asia: A Critical Analysis
Vaccines 2021, 9(6), 600; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines9060600 - 04 Jun 2021
Viewed by 431
Abstract
COVID-19 vaccination has started throughout the globe. The vaccination program has also begun in most Asian countries. This paper analyzed the Asian-origin COVID-19 vaccines and vaccination program status in Asia till March 2021 under three sections. In the first section, we mapped the [...] Read more.
COVID-19 vaccination has started throughout the globe. The vaccination program has also begun in most Asian countries. This paper analyzed the Asian-origin COVID-19 vaccines and vaccination program status in Asia till March 2021 under three sections. In the first section, we mapped the approved vaccines that originated from Asia, their technological platforms, collaborations during vaccine development, and regulatory approval from other countries. We found that a total of eight Asian COVID-19 vaccines originated and got approval from three countries: China, India, and Russia. In the second section, we critically evaluated the recent progress of COVID-19 vaccination programs. We analyzed the overall vaccination status across the Asian region. We also calculated the cumulative COVID-19 vaccine doses administered in different Asian countries, vaccine rolling in 7-day average in various Asian countries, and COVID-19 vaccine per day doses administrated in several Asian countries. We found that China and India vaccinated the maximum number of people. Finally, we evaluated the factors affecting the COVID-19 vaccination program in Asia, such as vaccine hesitancy, basic reproduction numbers (R0) and vaccination campaigns, and the cost of the vaccines. Our analysis will assist the implementation of the COVID-19 vaccination program successfully in Asia. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Vaccination and Public Health Version II: COVID-19 Vaccination)
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Article
The COVID-19 Vaccine Is Here—Now Who Is Willing to Get It?
Vaccines 2021, 9(4), 339; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines9040339 - 01 Apr 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 965
Abstract
The U.S. vaccine campaign against COVID-19 began in December 2020, but many individuals seem reluctant to get vaccinated. During the first week of the vaccination campaign, we collected data from 1017 individuals with an online survey to identify factors that were associated with [...] Read more.
The U.S. vaccine campaign against COVID-19 began in December 2020, but many individuals seem reluctant to get vaccinated. During the first week of the vaccination campaign, we collected data from 1017 individuals with an online survey to identify factors that were associated with willingness to get the vaccine once it is available. Most participants (55.3%) were willing to get the vaccine, although 46.2% also expressed some fear of the vaccine. Political ideology was by far the most consistent predictor of both willingness to be vaccinated and fear of the vaccine, followed by participant sex, education level, income, and race/ethnicity. Our findings suggest that, for the vaccine campaign to be broadly supported and successful, it will be important for frontline healthcare workers to discuss the role of inoculation for COVID-19 in a manner consistent with each individual patient’s political and sociological worldview. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Vaccination and Public Health Version II: COVID-19 Vaccination)
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Article
COVID-19 Vaccine Hesitancy among Young Adults in Saudi Arabia: A Cross-Sectional Web-Based Study
Vaccines 2021, 9(4), 330; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines9040330 - 01 Apr 2021
Viewed by 1268
Abstract
Ending the COVID-19 pandemic requires achieving herd immunity, either by previous infection or by vaccination. However, concerns about the COVID-19 vaccine are growing around the globe. The current study was conducted to investigate young the adult population’s hesitancy towards the vaccine. The study [...] Read more.
Ending the COVID-19 pandemic requires achieving herd immunity, either by previous infection or by vaccination. However, concerns about the COVID-19 vaccine are growing around the globe. The current study was conducted to investigate young the adult population’s hesitancy towards the vaccine. The study used a prospective cross-sectional design. Data was collected using an online self-administered questionnaire. A total of 862 Saudi adults participated. Information was gathered on the participants’ perspectives towards the severity and susceptibility of the COVID-19 infection, reasons for their hesitancy to receive the vaccine, perceived benefits, and reasons for action. Just under a quarter (19.6%) of respondents had previously tested positive for COVID-19. A small minority of the participants had already received the vaccine (2.1%), while 20.3% had registered in the Sehaty app (application) to receive the vaccine. Just under half of them (48%) will take the vaccine when mass vaccination is achieved and approximately the same number (46.7%) will only take it if it is made mandatory. Vaccine reluctance is highly prevalent among the general public in Saudi Arabia during the COVID-19 pandemic. While many are aware of a high likelihood of getting the infection, the efficacy and safety of the COVID-19 vaccine were reported as barriers to vaccination. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Vaccination and Public Health Version II: COVID-19 Vaccination)
Article
Measurement Invariance of the Drivers of COVID-19 Vaccination Acceptance Scale: Comparison between Taiwanese and Mainland Chinese-Speaking Populations
Vaccines 2021, 9(3), 297; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines9030297 - 22 Mar 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 931
Abstract
The impacts of novel coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) on human life continue to be serious. To control the spread of COVID-19, the production of effective vaccines is likely to be one of the best solutions. However, vaccination hesitancy may decrease individuals’ willingness to get [...] Read more.
The impacts of novel coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) on human life continue to be serious. To control the spread of COVID-19, the production of effective vaccines is likely to be one of the best solutions. However, vaccination hesitancy may decrease individuals’ willingness to get vaccinated. The Drivers of COVID-19 Vaccination Acceptance Scale (DrVac-COVID19S) was recently developed to help healthcare professionals and researchers better understand vaccination acceptance. The present study examined whether DrVac-COVID19S is measurement invariant across different subgroups (Taiwanese vs. mainland Chinese university students; males vs. females; and health-related program majors vs. non-health-related program majors). Taiwanese (n = 761; mean age = 25.51 years; standard deviation (SD) = 6.42; 63.5% females) and mainland Chinese university students (n = 3145; mean age = 20.72 years; SD = 2.06; 50.2% females) were recruited using an online survey between 5 January and 21 February 2021. Factor structure and measurement invariance of the two DrVac-COVID19S scales (nine-item and 12-item) were tested using confirmatory factor analysis (CFA). The findings indicated that the DrVac-COVID19S had a four-factor structure and was measurement invariant across the subgroups. The DrVac-COVID19S’s four-factor structure was supported by the CFA results is a practical and valid instrument to quickly capture university students’ willingness to get COVID-19 vaccination. Moreover, the DrVac-COVID19S can be used to compare university students’ underlying reasons to get COVID-19 vaccination among different subgroups. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Vaccination and Public Health Version II: COVID-19 Vaccination)
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Article
Factors Affecting Attitudes towards COVID-19 Vaccination: An Online Survey in Slovenia
Vaccines 2021, 9(3), 247; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines9030247 - 12 Mar 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2408
Abstract
While the problem of vaccine hesitancy is not new, it has become more pronounced with the new COVID-19 vaccines and represents an obstacle to resolving the crisis. Even people who would usually trust vaccines and experts now prefer to wait for more information. [...] Read more.
While the problem of vaccine hesitancy is not new, it has become more pronounced with the new COVID-19 vaccines and represents an obstacle to resolving the crisis. Even people who would usually trust vaccines and experts now prefer to wait for more information. A cross-sectional online survey was conducted in Slovenia in December 2020 to find out the attitudes of the population regarding COVID-19 vaccination and the factors that affect these attitudes. Based on 12,042 fully completed questionnaires, we find that higher intention to get vaccinated is associated with men, older respondents, physicians and medical students, respondents who got the influenza vaccination, those who knew someone who had gotten hospitalised or died from COVID-19 and those who have more trust in experts, institutions and vaccines. Nurses and technicians were less likely to get vaccinated. In answers to an open question, sceptics were split into those doubting the quality due to the rapid development of the vaccine and those that reported personal experiences with side effects of prior vaccinations. Although the Slovenian population is diverse in its attitudes towards vaccination, the results are comparable to those found in other countries. However, there are potential limitations to the generalizability of the findings that should be addressed in future studies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Vaccination and Public Health Version II: COVID-19 Vaccination)
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Article
The Changing Acceptance of COVID-19 Vaccination in Different Epidemic Phases in China: A Longitudinal Study
Vaccines 2021, 9(3), 191; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines9030191 - 25 Feb 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1297
Abstract
COVID-19 vaccines have been conditionally used in a few countries, including China since December 2020. The present study aimed to examine whether the acceptance of COVID-19 vaccination changed in different COVID-19 epidemic phases in China. Two consecutive surveys were conducted among Chinese adults [...] Read more.
COVID-19 vaccines have been conditionally used in a few countries, including China since December 2020. The present study aimed to examine whether the acceptance of COVID-19 vaccination changed in different COVID-19 epidemic phases in China. Two consecutive surveys were conducted among Chinese adults in March (n = 2058) (severe epidemic phase) and November–December (n = 2013) (well-contained phase, right before the COVID-19 vaccine was conditionally approved) 2020, and 791 respondents were longitudinally followed-up. The attitude, acceptance, and preferences for future COVID-19 vaccination were compared between two epidemic phases. Multivariate logistic regression was used to identify influencing factors of acceptance. Among the 791 respondents longitudinally followed, 91.9% in March and 88.6% of them in November–December 2020 would like to get COVID-19 vaccination in China. In March 58.3% wished to get vaccinated immediately, but the proportion declined to 23.0% in November–December 2020, because more respondents wanted to delay vaccination until the vaccine’s safety was confirmed. Similar results were found by comparing all respondents from the two cross-sectional surveys in different epidemic phases. The risk perception, attitude for the importance of vaccination against COVID-19, vaccination history, valuing doctor’s recommendations, vaccination convenience, or vaccine price in decision-making had impacts on respondents’ intention for immediate vaccination. The public acceptance for COVID-19 vaccination in China sustained at a high level in different COVID-19 epidemic phases. However, the intention of immediate vaccination declined substantially due to concerns about the vaccine’s safety. Information about vaccination safety from authoritative sources, doctor’s recommendations, and vaccination convenience were important in addressing vaccine hesitancy and promoting successful herd immunity for the general population in China. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Vaccination and Public Health Version II: COVID-19 Vaccination)
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Review

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Review
Demand Creation for COVID-19 Vaccination: Overcoming Vaccine Hesitancy through Social Marketing
Vaccines 2021, 9(4), 319; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines9040319 - 01 Apr 2021
Viewed by 1705
Abstract
The COVID-19 pandemic has led to millions of deaths and tested the capabilities of the medical and public health systems worldwide. Over the next two years as more approved vaccines are made available and supply meets or exceeds demand, medical and public health [...] Read more.
The COVID-19 pandemic has led to millions of deaths and tested the capabilities of the medical and public health systems worldwide. Over the next two years as more approved vaccines are made available and supply meets or exceeds demand, medical and public health professionals will increasingly be faced with the challenge of vaccine hesitancy. There is an urgent need to create demand in groups that are either uninformed, vaccine hesitant, or actively resistant to COVID-19 vaccination. This study reviews theory, evidence, and practice recommendations to develop a vaccine demand creation strategy that has wide applicability. Specifically, we focus on key elements including supply side confidence, vaccine brand promotion strategy, service marketing as it relates to vaccine distribution, and competition strategy. We present evidence that these strategies can make a significant contribution to overcoming COVID-19 hesitancy in a high supply scenario. The paper also makes recommendations about factors that need to be considered in relation to vaccine delivery services and systems that, if done badly, may reduce uptake or result in the creation of more vaccine hesitancy. In summary, there is a need for well researched and tested demand creation strategies that integrate with brand strategy, supply side, and service delivery. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Vaccination and Public Health Version II: COVID-19 Vaccination)
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Other

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Viewpoint
COVID-19 and the Gaping Wounds of South Africa’s Suboptimal Immunisation Coverage: An Implementation Research Imperative for Assessing and Addressing Missed Opportunities for Vaccination
Vaccines 2021, 9(7), 691; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines9070691 - 23 Jun 2021
Viewed by 172
Abstract
Despite South Africa’s substantial investments in and efforts at ensuring universal access to immunisation services, progress has stalled and remains suboptimal across provinces and districts. An additional challenge is posed by the ongoing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, which has disrupted immunisation services [...] Read more.
Despite South Africa’s substantial investments in and efforts at ensuring universal access to immunisation services, progress has stalled and remains suboptimal across provinces and districts. An additional challenge is posed by the ongoing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, which has disrupted immunisation services globally, including in South Africa. While there is growing evidence that missed opportunities for vaccination (MOV) are a major contributor to suboptimal immunisation progress globally, not much is known about the burden and determinants of MOV in the South African context. Herein, we make a case for assessing MOV as a strategy to address current immunisation coverage gaps while mitigating the adverse impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on immunisation services. We illustrate a practical implementation research approach to assessing the burden of MOV among children in primary care settings; for understanding the factors associated with MOV; and for designing, implementing, and evaluating context-appropriate quality improvement interventions for addressing missed opportunities. Such efforts are vital for building health system resilience and maintaining immunisation programme capacity to optimally deliver essential health services such as routine childhood immunisation, even during pandemics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Vaccination and Public Health Version II: COVID-19 Vaccination)
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Case Report
Allergy to Polyethilenglicole of Anti-SARS CoV2 Vaccine Recipient: A Case Report of Young Adult Recipient and the Management of Future Exposure to SARS-CoV2
Vaccines 2021, 9(5), 412; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines9050412 - 21 Apr 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 576
Abstract
The main contraindication to the anti-SARS CoV2 vaccine is an anaphylactic reaction to a vaccine component. The need to vaccinate allergic people who are at higher risk can be of public health interest and this report shows a case of an allergic reaction [...] Read more.
The main contraindication to the anti-SARS CoV2 vaccine is an anaphylactic reaction to a vaccine component. The need to vaccinate allergic people who are at higher risk can be of public health interest and this report shows a case of an allergic reaction to PEG of a HCW who had received the first dose of anti-SARS CoV2 vaccine. For 5 h after the administration of the vaccine, she had the appearance of erythematous spots on the face and neck, and a feeling of a slurred mouth and hoarseness. In order to treat the event, she was administered 8 mg intravenous dexamethasone, 1 vial intravenous chlorphenamine maleate, 250 mL intravenous 0.9% NaCl, and conventional oxygen therapy (2 L/min) with complete resolution of the suspected adverse drug reaction. According to the contraindication to the cutaneous test for this patient, BAT was used for further investigations. The patient who suffered the adverse reaction to the COVID-19 vaccine and other five allergic patients who did not report any adverse reaction after the vaccination were tested. There was a significant activation of the vaccine-reactive patient’s basophils with 14.79 CD203chigh% at the concentration of 0.2 mg/mL, while other patients were negative. People who have a confirmed reaction to a vaccine component should undergo further investigation to discover other possible cross-reactions and select the right vaccine to immunize them. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Vaccination and Public Health Version II: COVID-19 Vaccination)
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Brief Report
Italian Adults’ Likelihood of Getting COVID-19 Vaccine: A Second Online Survey
Vaccines 2021, 9(3), 268; https://doi.org/10.3390/vaccines9030268 - 17 Mar 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 722
Abstract
Rapid online surveys are an important tool for tracking the public’s knowledge and perceptions during infectious disease outbreaks. In June 2020, during the early phases of COVID-19 vaccines development, we conducted a survey in 885 Italian adults that aimed at assessing their attitudes [...] Read more.
Rapid online surveys are an important tool for tracking the public’s knowledge and perceptions during infectious disease outbreaks. In June 2020, during the early phases of COVID-19 vaccines development, we conducted a survey in 885 Italian adults that aimed at assessing their attitudes and opinions about vaccination, in addition to their vaccine literacy levels (i.e., skills in finding, understanding, and using information about vaccines). In January 2021, the same questionnaire was administered to a similar population (n = 160). Interactive vaccine literacy was significantly higher in January 2021 than in June 2020 (mean score 3.38 vs. 3.27 respectively, p = 0.0021). The percentage of participants willing to be vaccinated against COVID-19 assessed by either-or questions, was equally high in both surveys (>90%), which is quite reassuring, although metrics based on categorical scales cannot identify hesitant subjects. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Vaccination and Public Health Version II: COVID-19 Vaccination)
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